The US and the EU have agreed a truce in a 17-year trade dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus.

Under the agreement, both sides will remove taxes on $11.5bn (£8.2bn) of goods, including wine, cheese and tractors, for five years.

Those tariffs, imposed by both sides as punishment in the escalating dispute, had already been suspended in March while they tried to resolve matters.

In March the US suspended tariffs on UK imports arising from the dispute.

US President Joe Biden had a summit with European Union (EU) leaders on Tuesday, where he is trying to bolster support for his more assertive stance towards Russia and China, and move away from Trump-era trade rows.

“I think we have great opportunities to work closely with the EU as well as Nato and we feel quite good about it,” President Biden said.

Both Boeing and Airbus said they welcomed the truce. Airbus said that the agreement “will provide the basis to create a level-playing field which we have advocated for since the start of this dispute”.

Boeing-Airbus fight

The dispute between the US and EU has escalated over many years, with both sides accusing the other of unfairly propping up their flagship planemakers.

In 2019, the World Trade Organization ruled that the EU had illegally provided support to Airbus, clearing the way for the US to respond with tariffs worth up to $7.5bn (£5.4bn) in annual trade.

Roughly one year later, in a parallel case, it ruled that the US benefits to Boeing also violated trade rules, authorising the EU to hit the US with tariffs worth roughly $4bn.

Since then, both sides have taken steps to remove the assistance found at fault.

The US and the EU have taken a much more conciliatory stance in the 17-year dispute since President Biden took over from predecessor Donald Trump, who imposed tariffs on the EU.

“This meeting has started with a breakthrough on aircraft,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said. “This really opens a new chapter in our relationship because we move from litigation to cooperation on aircraft – after 17 years of dispute… Today we have delivered.”

President Biden had a meeting with EC President von der Leyen and the EU’s chairman Charles Michel, who represents EU governments.

“We’re facing a once in a century global health crisis,” President Biden said on Monday, while adding: “Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity.”

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Source: BBC

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